The audio version of this book will definitely rank as one of my all-time favourites. The story, being by Murakami, is of course very well written. I have read some of his other stories and this one is, in my view, not his best. Compared to books by other authors, though, this one is head and shoulders above its competition. The story is set in 1980s Japan, which adds a cultural foreignness that is slight enough not to alienate the reader but strange enough to add to the charm of the story. Moreover, the fantastic element is introduced so gradually that it will even appeal to readers who do not normally like to read fantasy novels. The characters are quirky, likeable and very well developed.
It is, however, the performance that sets this version of the book apart. Allison Hiroto reads with a very, very slight Japanese accent, which is charming and suits the character and the story. Her performance is very deliberate and slow, giving the listener time for consideration. The male narrators are also very good and their voices give credence to the characters they represent. I found myself looking forward to Hiroto's chapters, though, as it was her masterful performance, combined with the sometimes bleak but still fascinatingly foreign scenery of the story, that put me in an almost meditative state of mind.
All in all, I can thoroughly recommend this download.
"Murakami Novel that's a real page turner"
epic mysterious elegant
Eomame: beautifully conceived and written character who it is hard not to fall in love with, at least a little bit.
The skilful narration freed up my mind to become deeply immersed in the imagery and storyline.
Improbable that anyone could listen to such a long audiobook in one sitting but I found myself constantly seeking out opportunities to resume listening at the earliest opportunity!
Highly recommend this book - if you have never read a Murakami novel before, this is a great place to start (and in a strictly 'bang for buck' sense represents fantastically good value for money). Buy it!!
"You certainly get your moneys worth"
BIG, ORIGINAL, INTERESTING
The ending was a bit of let down.
I think I did recognise his voice, I believe he reads John Ringo's books, this really was a fantastic performance.
First there was Collateral, then there was Harry Potter....now theres 1Q84
Ive seen a couple of Manga films in the past..they kind of give you a glimpse into Japanese culture/mytholgy...it really is sooo different to ours. This story has " Little People" and assasins set in 1984 for Gods sake...sounds bonkers...and it is.....but it works. I dont want to say too much and ruin it for you. The Narrators, in particular for the two male characters are fantasctic....
"Tests your patience, despite occasional brilliance"
About 10 hours taken off the story, which would have been easily done by deleting some of the countless repetitions and redundant sentences. Also less of the adolescent's preoccupation with genital/sexual description and the removal, somehow, of the very discomfiting feeling that one is assumed to share and enjoy the author's borderline immoral fantasies.
No, but I don't think I'll be buying anything else by this author.
Oddly ungrammatical question – how about 'what does the narration bring'?. The readers are very good, although the female reader was very slow. Added to an already glacial pace, it was sometimes excruciating.
Growing disappointment as the story creaked along, sometimes not moving along at all and even going backwards, relieved at times by some truly beautiful passages and lovely similes.
I would advise all but the most diehard fans of this author to avoid this book. Uniquely in my experience, it falls miles short of rewarding the demanded investment of time.
"great story, poor narration"
The author is fantastic. The male narrator is good, however the female narrator does not hold my attention, which is a problem considering she reads half the book.
It does not compare due to its originality.
As previously stated, female narrator is dull and hard to follow.
Only read more books by the author
"Very unusual but totally absorbing"
This is an odd one. Long, very repetitious with largely unsympathetic characters who are emotionally stunted in some way. Yet, if you let the story wash over you, it gradually draws you in. I would not have wanted to have spent the 40+ hours it would take to read this book on the page, but, as an audio book it's good, you can get on with something else, if you miss a bit it doesn't matter, the main points of the plot are recapped at regular intervals.
I have not given the book 5 stars, although I thought that I would when I was about 2 thirds of the way through as the ending was something of a disappointment.
"Like having teeth pulled"
Different readers and a more concise translation
A robotic, painfully slow and repetitive performance especially by Allison Hiroto.
"A little disappointing"
It's a long book and after reading the summary, seemed to be a good story. I was disappointed. There was no depth to anyof the book's characters, the story clung together by threasds that you expected at some point to be reconciled but never were and the female narrator was so wispy and slow that you couldn't imagine for a moment the character she played was supposed to be a cold hearted assassin.
Still - it got me through 2 days of painting the garden fence but I could imagine there must have been better options
No. I think the writer is just not to my taste in style, authenticity or taste.
There were 3 narrators, 2 man and a woman. Besides the woman who was so wishy washy it grew on your nerves, the men had more emotion and decent accents to their characters.
I cannot see where the book could go from the point it finished. it porbably should have finished earlier.
Devotees of Murakami, of whom I know there are many. Anyone new to this author should try something shorter first.
Probably not, but I might try something shorter one day.
Accents were not easy to listen to - particularly the main male narrator.
I would have reduced it by half! The detailed lengthy sections on various characters sexual activities / thoughts in particular were just boring.
The fact that I ploughed through to end of this enormously long book I suppose says something. The initial premise of the book was interesting, but it never really developed into anything further and I felt cheated by the lack of any resolution.
I would certainly listen again. But probably to excerpts, as I found the book to be very long.
I especially enjoyed the beginning when Aomame is descending to 1q84 from 1984, this part is very atmospheric.
The subtle use of accent would not have happened in My head
Amazement as the imagination to create another universe/world with all the same rules, well mostly the same rules.
I found the book to be slightly reminiscent of Manga genre. I don't mean it was a cartoon, it was the story and the ethos of the book